Day trip from Venezia: Padua or Vicenza?

Feb 12th, 2012, 02:49 PM
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Day trip from Venezia: Padua or Vicenza?

We would like a nice day trip form Venezia trying to decide between Padua or Vicenza. Would like some input on which might be more doable or interesting, what to see and do. Lunch recommendations also needed. Has anyone done the canal trip to see the villas of Palladio etc.?
scfphoto is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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I have been to both Padua and Vicenza. Both are easy to do by train.

For me, it would be hands down Vicenza. If you have an interest in Palladio, then my suggestion doubles for Vicenza. Be sure to check ahead on the days and times the various villas, etc. in Vicenza are open. Don't miss Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. It is absolutely beautiful. There is a wonderful street market, but don't remember the day.

OTOH, Padua is a great town for wandering around, and if you are really into Art and Art history, or perhaps very religious, you would want to visit the Scrovegni Chapel. I was an Art teacher and painter, though, and will admitt that I did not find it all that interesting except for the historical context in which it was done.
Sassafrass is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 05:57 AM
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All in all, Vicenza has the more important sights, no doubt, with the exception of Padova's Scrovegni Chapel, which is (personal tastes and preferences aside, Sassafrass) one of the truly great treasures in the world history of art. On the other hand, Padova has definitely the much better vibe, is a much more lively and intriguing city, and one of Italy's best places for food shopping. By the way, Padova can also be done by bus from Venice (easily, cheaply and reasonably quickly), and the bus route follows the villa-lined Brenta Canal, so that's definitely preferable to traveling by train.
franco is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 06:02 AM
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been to both and prefer Vicenza for its gaggle of Palladian buildings and generally IMO a cuter more romantic town than more work-a-day and urban Padua. But you can't go wrong.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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I would vote for Padua for the truly amazing Scrovegni Chapel (and I am not that into art) and the mint coffee drink at Pedrocci!!
ekc is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Padova has a big city feel; Vicenza has a small town feel (not a village, more like what the British would call a county town).

Pretty much all of Vicenza closes down for siesta; Padova is larger.

In addition to the Scrovegni Chapel (deeply moving artistic experience) and attached museum, Padova has the Basilica of St Anthony, Donatello's statue of Gattamelata, Palazzon della Reggione, and the Prato delle Valle, the largtest in Europe. These are all world class.

Vicenza has wonderful Palladian buildings including the Basilica, the Captain's House, and the Teatro Olimpico. You might be able to get a tour to the Villa Rotonda on the right day. These are all places that people travel the world to see.

In other words, choice is impossible. Flip a coing or decide between a city and a town.
Ackislander is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 10:39 AM
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DH and I trained to Padua from Venice and to Vicenza from Verona. From Venice, Padua is almost half the train time.

If you want to see Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, you need to make reservations unless things have changed. Other things in Padua include the old college-friend enjoyed the tour of the medical school. In addition to what's mentioned above there's a nice market, very old bar. We missed the main duomo because of lunch time closing there.

In Vicenza, we took a taxi to La Rotunda and took a bus back to town. Try to go on a week day and buy 2-way bus ticket from tobacco shop. Or remember to make a deal with the taxi driver to come fetch you later. We didn't have phones with us. We walked all around but didn't get the same vibe as mentioned above. It was on a Sunday though.

As for the river trip to see the Palladio homes, those were never offered when we were in Venice (March) so I can't give you any info. Would love to do it. Have heard that the Villa Barbara (sp?) is open more than others-you might be able to get a tour to that. Please report back!
TDudette is offline  
Feb 18th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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What about Verona? Or just a bit further, Mantua?
scrb11 is online now  
Feb 19th, 2012, 12:49 AM
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Why not visit both Padua and Vicenza? They are on the same Venice-Milan train line and you could see the highlights of both in a long day. Padua is bustling, lots of students, very walkable. Vicenza is wealthy, traditional, also a pleasure to walk.

I would visit Padua first while the fabulous and extensive market is going strong, visit Pedrocchi for a coffee and see the Capella Scrovegni.

Then continue to Vicenza to see the Palladian palazzi and Teatro Olimpico. I believe La Rotonda's interior is open only on Wednesdays, you need to check that.

The burchiello resumes its trips in March. I enjoyed it enormously on my umpteenth trip to Venice but would not recommend that you use your time that way. Villa Barbaro at Maser is well worth visiting, as is Villa Emo, but I think you would need a car.
tarquin is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 05:13 AM
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DH and I will be in Venice this May, and are considering taking a day trip to Padua and Vicenza.

If Ackislander is correct about Vicenza closing down for a few afternoon hours, would it be wise to depart from Venice train station and get off at Vicenza first (in the morning) then visit Padua on the way back?
i_am_kane is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2012, 05:34 AM
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If you are looking for cute, quaint, atmospheric places to "wander" and "soak up" as a generic sort of travel thing in Europe, it really doesn't matter if you go to Vicenza, Verona, Padova, Mantova, Treviso, Ferrara, -- or any number of small towns near Venice. They all have that. All the towns "close down" for lunch.

Otherwise, all these towns have drastically different histories and cuisines and styles of art, so if that matters to you, then read about each town and decide if you would rather see Palladio or the Palazzo Te, or the works of Giotto or the Gonzagas, a Roman arena or a Romanesque church, or eat pumpkin ravioli or fat pasta with duck.
zeppole is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 05:18 PM
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Just wanted to add to this. Based on franco's recommendation, we will look at taking the first bus of the day to Padua from Venice.

Recently received an article from my sister (a Northwestern alum) that is the story of how a "new" Donatello was recently discovered...the crucifix in the Santa Marie dei Servi church in Padua.

Another good reason to visit.

Can anyone tell me what time the markets open? Where is this coffee shop (Pedrocchi)? And anyone have a specific place to pick up local Tuscan olive oils and Pecorino Ramano?

sarge56 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2012, 07:50 PM
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If you type "pedrocchi" into, the first item that come s up is "Pedrocchi, Padova, Italy"--the place you want. It is right in the center of town, not far from the main market.
ellenem is online now  
Jul 14th, 2012, 12:39 AM
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On you way into town and the markets (open mornings except Sun and Mon,) you will pass the Caffe Pedrocchi, a large freestanding bulding with open doors, on your righthand side. The loggias surrounding the two market piazzas are full of tempting food shops.

I will finally have a chance to enjoy shopping in all this plentitude in September while we are staying in an apartment nearby.
tarquin is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 04:00 AM
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Both cities are wonderful. Padua has about 220,000 people and isn't even a little bit quaint, though it has the Scrovegni Chapel and many other things. It also has trams.

Vicenza is half that size and most of its modern town is away from the Palladian center.

I went to both AND Verona, which is entirely different from either. Mantua, one day.
Ackislander is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 04:26 AM
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I love threads like this. I have been to Padua and loved it. This thread makes me want to visit Vicenza now too. So, thank you, Fodors!
SloJan2 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 06:18 AM
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If you have any interest in architecture, walking around Vicenza is like being in a dream. I might even choose it over Venice to live in. But maybe not.
tarquin is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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thanks, all. Ellenem--- I'll be in Venice 10/10-10/15. If you're around, do let me know. Love to do lunch!
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 07:11 AM
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PS Want to correct myself. It is Santa Maria dei Servi.
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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So, Ackislander or anyone else, can we see both Vicenza and Padua easily in a day, from Verona?
I really want to see the Scrovegni Chapel, but didn't realize that Padua is a fairly big city. Probably, though, the historic centre is fairly compact?
sundriedpachino is offline  

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